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The Daily Mantra & The Compass

I dislike morals and principles, especially when they're mine.  My morals and principles are the worst.  

I war with myself over them.  They drive me and undermine me.  

See, today there are meetings to which I'm invited.  But I'm an optional attendee, a courtesy invitee to hear what's discussed.  I'm not expected to take part of the conversation, just lurk.  If the moderator is polite, they will ask at the end if I have any questions or comments.  

I accepted the meetings but I''ve decided to pass on attending them.  I wanted to write instead.  I follow a labyrinth of perfectly acceptable rationalizations about why this is okay.  I will put in my eight hours of work, do all assignments provided to me, and fulfill my responsibilities.  

I remained plagued, though.  It's an optional invitation.  It's my option to attend.  

You should, my conscience urges.

Why, my mind replies?  

They're paying you.

Yes, and when they decide they're not getting their money's worth, they'll fire me.  In the meantime, life goes on. My energy and future are in my writing, not my employment.

But you made an agreement.

And I'm fulfilling my end of the agreement, just as they're fulfilling their end.  Nothing more is owed by either one.

You see, my morals, principles and conscience were brought up believing that work is more important than anything except your word.  Those are the words and concepts over which I wrestle. 

I'm fifty-six.  I'm putting myself first today.  I'll do what my employers require but I also must do what I require.  

So the daily mantras ring out, have courage.  Have faith.  Follow your dream.  

Live for yourself.  

I will try, moment by moment, day by day.  As Annie Lamont wrote about her father and brother, bird by bird.  

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Much of life is optional. 

Much of life is optional. 

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You're so right, Jodi ~

What makes us unique is our approach to the options.  My approach is to analyze, agonize, stew and verbalize.

(If you write about it, is it verbalizing?)

Thanks for reading and commenting.  Cheers